US stock markets closed in the red on Friday thanks in large part to the shining jobs report published earlier in the week. While it may seem counter-intuitive, the positive job report has pushed the US Treasury to hike its bond yield, which is causing interest rates to rise.
“There’s no question the job market in the United States is possibly at its best in a generation – there’s no question or debate about that,” said Ameriprise Financial Services’ senior economist Russell Price while speaking to Reuters. “The jobs report has become an inflation report.”
According to a report from CNBC, US unemployment has reached a near-50 year low at 3.7 percent. Non-farm jobs grew at an incredible pace, adding close to 70,000 jobs in August. Wages have risen ever so slightly as well, and have increased by 2.8 percent since last year.
Even with the good news from the Department of Labor, higher interest rates have driven stocks down throughout the week. According to a report from Reuters, several companies that were a part of the major sector reshuffling — including Facebook, Apple, Netflix, and Google — were all down on Friday. Netflix had an especially poor performance, and according to CNBC, the movie and television show streaming service “is down 15 percent from its most recent high.”
“Netflix has been a weaker stock than the broader Nasdaq,” said Todd Gordon, the founder of TradingAnalysis.com on CNBC’s “Trading Nation”. “The broader Nasdaq and the overall stock market is showing some signs of hesitation here in the face of these rising interest rates.”
Shares of Elon Musk’s Tesla were also down by seven percent on Friday, and 12 percent for the year. David Einhorn, president of Greenlight Capital, weighed in on Tesla’s recent performance in a note to investors, comparing the automaker with now-defunct investment group Lehman Brothers, which imploded in 2008. Einhorn had correctly predicted Lehman’s doom at the time.
“…Like Lehman, we think the deception is about to catch up to [Tesla],” Einhorn said in the letter.
Despite the stock market’s abysmal showing this week, not all news has been glum. According to a report from Reuters, the US Dollar (USD) climbed to its highest level in almost two years, going from $23.17 to $26.68 billion in just one week. Ever since the Federal Reserve alluded to higher interest rates last week, the dollar has risen by more than two percent. Although the USD fell slightly on Friday, experts are still confident the currency is a smart investment.
“The relative strength of the U.S. economy and the Federal Reserve’s resolve to tighten monetary policy is unquestionable,” said BK Asset’s managing director of FX strategy, Kathy Lien, while speaking to Reuters.